Books · Christianity · Coffee · Divergent · Faith · happiness · outrage · Star Wars · Starbucks · The Clone Wars · Tim Challies · Veronica Roth

Owl Post 3-21-14

Owl Post: 2-3-2012

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Veronica Roth: About the End of Allegiant (SPOILERS)

allegiant-book-cover-high-resSo, I am back from tour….

All week, people who had read Allegiant were asking me the same question, and people on the Internet were asking, too. I answered it very briefly in a spoilery MTV interview that went up today, but I wanted to post a longer answer that goes a little deeper for those of you who are interested. I’m trying to be very careful about marking spoilers, so hopefully all this works

Is It Harder to Write About Happiness Than Its Opposite?

Each week in Bookends, two writers take on questions about the world of books. This week, Leslie Jamison and Adam Kirsch discuss the difficulties in writing about happiness.

Outrage Porn and the Christian Reader

FileItem-210937-outrageOutrage sells. It’s plain as day. If eyeballs on articles are the currency of new media, there are few things that attract those eyeballs more effectively than outrage. In the wider cultural context of new media there is always lots to work with: Alec Baldwin’s homophobia, Steve Martin’s racism, Patton Oswalt’s insensitivity. It goes on and on. There is always someone saying something dumb or unwise, and new media’s response is immediate, fiery indignation.

Has failure become a virtue?

tumblr_n081pkNxNB1r0ue2zo1_400“Christian, you cannot obey the Law. Your certain failure is a means to show forth the grace of God when you repent.”
 “We don’t need more lists of how to be a better spouse/parent/Christian. We need more grace.”
 “My life strategy for today: fail, repent, repeat.”
The End of The Clone Wars
Here are a Couple of great articles talking about different aspects of The Clone Wars series.

clonewars_022414_1280

Infographic: How Many Calories Are In A Drink From Starbucks

To encourage people to make healthier drink choices, Seattle-based Japanese coffee lover Ryoko Itawa of I Love Coffee created a revealing infographic.

Titled ‘How many calories are in a drink from Starbucks’, the infographic points out the calories in popular Starbucks drinks and equates it to various junk food.

According to infographic, a Grande Green Tea Latte has 350 calories, which is equivalent to a medium packet of fries from McDonalds, while a Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino has 500 calories, which amounts to 120 Skittles.

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abortion · Christianity · Coffee · Disney · Faith · Movies · Parenthood · Star Wars · Tim Challies

Owl Post 2-1-13

Owl Post 2-17-12

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The Gospel Brings Freedom to Truly Love:

What is love? In short, love is joyfully and willfully sacrificing yourself in the service of others for the purpose of seeing them blessed. This is what we see in the gospel and this is what Christians endeavor to do as we respond to the gospel. The Gospel is the most heart-melting and liberating truth. It models and motivates true love.

What TV Teaches Us About Abortion:

264a3cda-1e13-492f-9540-609c51efa45aEarlier this month, NBC did something rare. In fact, it’s happened on average only once every two and a half years years since 1972. The network (spoiler alert) included an abortion plotline in a recent episode of its Tuesday night drama Parenthood. When high school sweethearts Amy and Drew discover she is pregnant, Drew wants to keep the baby, but Amy insists on having an abortion. Without counsel from their parents, they navigate the complicated and clearly heartbreaking process. Hailed as “brave” and “refreshing” by abortion advocates, the plot struck right-to-life groups as yet one more attempt by Hollywood to push a pro-choice agenda.

Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy on ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Lincoln’ and Secret J.J. Abrams Meetings (Exclusive)

kathleen_kennedy_cover_a_pIn November, a journalist asked J.J. Abrams what seemed like an obvious question: Was he interested in directing the next Star Wars movie? Disney had just paid a whopping $4.05 billion to acquireGeorge Lucas‘ iconic Lucasfilm and had stated its intention to turn out new Star Wars films every two to three years beginning in 2015. The prolific Abrams, who had sparked the flagging Star Trek series in 2009, seemed a natural fit. But he quickly shot the idea down. While Star Wars was “the first movie that blew my mind in that way,” he said then, he wanted to focus on original material.

Awakening to Every Pleasure:

It may be the most common feature of the bestselling Christian books. “We all want to be great for God and do things that would be impossible without his presence and help. So live a life that’sGreater.” “You are living a life of comfort, ease and complacency, so step out and do somethingRadical.” “Your life is just passing you by as you sit on the sidelines, so God is calling you to be a follower, Not a Fan.” “You want more Jesus and are bored with what Christianity offers you. You need to rediscover God’s Crazy Love.” It goes on nearly ad infinitum. Some are awful, some are brilliant, but the theme is largely the same: There must be more to life than this! Please tell me there is more to life than this!

9 WAYS TO FIGHT THE TEMPTATION OF PORNOGRAPHY:

In an earlier post I wrote, “7 Negative Effects of Porn,” I focused on the harmful psychological and sociological effects of pornography. This post will focus on a biblical and grace-centered way to resist the temptation to view porn. This post is primarily aimed at men, but I hope that there is some help here for the growing number of women who are addicted to porn and I hope that more Christian women will write on this hidden issue.

Never Say Yes to a Nightcap:

whiskey_glass_250The vicious cycle of the nightcap begins innocently. Jane has a snifter of cognac, to clear her head, to ease her to sleep. Why not? It’s something civilized people do. So she does, and she slides into sleep a little more smoothly.

But it’s slightly less revitalizing than the sleep of sobriety. She doesn’t hit the same cycles. The next day she is ever-so-slightly anxious, on edge. She yells at a co-worker. Jane never yells.

Abrams brings fandom, secrecy to ‘Star Wars’ universe:

Sorry, Darth Vader. J.J. Abrams is now the face of the Star Wars empire.

The Force gained a new creative leader, Trekkies lost one and Abrams expands his own sci-fi pop-culture résumé as the director of Star Wars: Episode VII, tentatively arriving in theaters like a massive Imperial Star Destroyer in 2015.

Q&A: Why Would Patrick ‘McDreamy’ Dempsey Buy a Seattle-Based Coffee Chain?

5d4a125a-04b4-41ac-bb22-0eb8d4f5daffPatrick Dempsey’s doing just fine without having to pull a West Coast coffee chain from the brink of extinction. Besides being one of Hollywood’s most seasoned lady killers, he’s still making a fine living for himself as McDreamy on the ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” now in its ninth season. But Dempsey’s not satisfied merely acting. That’s why Global Baristas, LLC — an investor group led by Dempsey — surprised observers by outbidding Starbucks in early January to purchase Tully’s, a small, bankrupt, Seattle-based coffee chain. As a result, when Dempsey’s not filming, he’s likely meeting baristas, visiting cafes, and drinking way too much coffee. In between, he had a few minutes to chat about his latest venture.

Disney’s Beautiful short film: Paperman

Books · Coffee · Government · Mumford and Sons · Music · Politics · Star Wars · The Clone Wars · Tullian Tchividjian

Owl Post 10-12-12

Confusing Strength With Aggression:

The vice presidential debate was uniquely important because if Paul Ryan won it or did well, the Romney-Ryan ticket’s momentum would be continued or speed up. If he did not, that momentum would slow or stop. So the night carried implications.

New Music: Mumford and Sons’ Babel:

Everyone’s favorite British folk band, Mumford and Sons, and their latest album, Babel, have been a hot news item since the album was released a couple of weeks ago. Depending on who you ask, the band’s music is heartfelt and refreshing, beautifully expressing the human desire for love and grace or maudlin and mediocre, only created to prey on the sentimentality of the general population. Two recent articles on the band illustrate the variety of opinions that have been voiced about Babel and the obvious religious symbolism in the group’s music: the first, “Mumford & Sons Preaches to Masses”, from NPR’s Ann Powers (which DZ mentioned on Friday), speaks to the band’s power to bring religious ideas to the public; and the second,“Mumford & Sons and the Death of Church Music”, comes from The American Conservative’s Jordan Bloom, in a direct reply to Powers’ article, where he connects the vapid sentimentality he sees in contemporary worship music to Mumford and their music. Both of these articles are interesting reads, and they address what I see as the central theme of Mumford and Sons’ music: their incredible ability to introduce Christian and religious symbols to a large audience, imparting grace and hope to their listeners.

Our Glorious Ruin: Tullian Tchividjian on the Suffering that Sets You Free:

Ever since the revolt in Eden, suffering has been inescapable. All of us live and move and have our being amid the wreckage of the Fall. Pain—universal as it is real—haunts us, stalks us, plagues us.

In his new book, Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free (David C. Cook), Tullian Tchividjian offers a unique angle on this perennially vexing subject. Rather than focusing on the why or the how of suffering, Tchividjian zooms in on the who, demonstrating that the answer to our pain isn’t finally found in a syllogism but in a Savior—a suffering Savior. If your faith is stirred by this interview and the book, come to Orlando next April to hear Tchividjian lead a workshop at The Gospel Coalition 2013 National Conference on “How Suffering Sets You Free.”

I corresponded with Tchividjian, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, about why we need another suffering book, the importance of pressing past why, how the gospel informs our pain, and more.

‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ brings the Dark Side to Saturdays:

When animator Dave Filoni was handed the reins of George Lucas’ computer animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” back in 2006, he thought he knew what to expect.

Lucas, the creator and mastermind of the entire multibillion-dollar “Star Wars” operation, would give some initial guidance, notes and feedback and quickly fade away, moving on to tend to other aspects of his Lucasfilm empire. After all, it was a cartoon series aimed a kids, airing on Cartoon Network and regarded by many of the franchise’s older hardcore fans as a nice, but hardly essential, extension of the “Star Wars” experience.

Eat, Pray, Love Like a Badass: Cheryl Strayed, the Oprah Author 2.0:

Cheryl Strayed shifted uncomfortably in her chair onstage at the New York Public Library last week when host Paul Holdengraber mentioned the name “Elizabeth Gilbert.” Knitting her brow, she cocked her head to one side as if to inquire, “Where is this conversation going?” Holdengraber read a piece from the Eat, Pray, Love author that echoed advice Strayed gives readers under her nom de plume Sugar in herbeloved advice column on The Rumpus.

What Drinking Coffee Does to You:

The chances are that you saw the title of this article and winced a little. Usually, things which are enjoyable bring negative side effects to our bodies. Alcohol, chocolate and fast-food are all fine examples of things which are enjoyable at the time but have negative long-term side effects on your health. So how does coffee compete with these ‘naughty’ foods and drink?

Books · Christianity · ebooks · Marriage · mbird.com · Movies · Star Wars · The Clone Wars

Owl Post 6-12-2012

Season 5 Trailer for Star War: The Clone Wars

The book is dead, long live the book:

A LOT of ink has been spilled on the supposed death of the printed word. Ebooks are outselling paper books. Newspapers are dying. “Phone books are already dead,” said James Reid-Cunningham of the Boston Athenaeum library at a conference called Unbound: Speculations on the Future of the Book, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in May. “The days of the codex as the primary carrier of information are almost over.”

No Man (Woman, Child) Is An Island…

If you’ve seen Hemingway and Gellhorn, HBO’s most recent throw-as-much-money-as-you-can-at-it-and-see-what-happens attempt at a small screen blockbuster, I have no doubt you feel strongly about the movie. Unfortunately for HBO, the majority feel strongly that the movie stinks.

From Café au Lait to Cappuccino: A Vintage Film for Coffee Lovers:

This Is Coffee, a promotional film produced by the Coffee Brewing Institute in 1961, covers different brewing methods with classic 1960s voiceover narration. Courtesy of the Prelinger Archive, the film is a “loving tribute to America’s favorite stimulant.”

Teach kids the alphabet with these adorable Star Wars prints:

When husband-and-wife designers Emma and Brandon Peat learned they were having their first child, they decided to create an alphabetical series of prints based entirely on characters from Star Wars. This should really be part of some form of mandatory curriculum.

The kids are moving back in after college? Smart career move:

Millennials are the “go nowhere” generation. They’re spoiled, lazy, undecided about a line of work and all too willing to move back in with their parents after college. Boomerang kids, they are called — as if every time their moms and dads toss them out, they circle back to crash their parents’ hopes of a child-free life. At least that’s the rap against them.

The Best Sermon I’ve Ever Heard on Marriage:

Denny Burk preached the best sermon I’ve ever heard on marriage at Kenwood Baptist Church this morning. It was prophetic, powerful, piercing, and poetic.

The Revenue of Star Wars: